My Conversion Story

To read my conversion story, I have posted it in .pdf format available for download.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Thoughts on Lazarus, Martha, and Mary

My take on yesterday’s homily at church

The Gospel reading at Mass yesterday was on John 11:1-45, the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead.

Father Mike’s main sermon point was in the way that the crowd, and especially Mary and Martha were reacting. They did not know that Jesus came to raise Lazarus. They just knew that their brother, who was also Jesus close friend, had died. They gave Jesus enough notice to come heal him before he died and they may have felt a little betrayed by him that he did not come right away.

They clearly had faith in Jesus as the son of God, and in the resurrection of the dead at the last day. They believed, but did they trust him? By this time he had already raised two people from the dead. Mary was one of the few who understood that when Jesus was speaking of his impending death, that he actually meant it. We know this as here we see that she is the one who anointed his feet with expensive perfume in preparation for his burial back in John 12:3. Thomas shows that he did not fully trust in his statement showing he was convinced that they were all going to their deaths.

How about you? Do you who believe also trust?
Do you trust God with your financial condition? Yes?
Do you contracept because you can’t afford kids?
Do you give money to your church and to the poor?
Are you swayed by the prosperity preachers of today?
Do you decry the Church for the “riches” she has at the Vatican that could be sold and
the money given to the poor?
Do you trust God that he will lead the Church even when certain doctrines and dogmas are counter-cultural or against your sensibilities?

Other thoughts about the passage:

I’ve always wondered just how did Jesus know Lazarus, Martha, and Mary?. Bethany, the town where they lived was only a short distance from Nazareth. Were they relatives? Did they know each other from an early form of Hebrew school? Did they meet during trips to the Jerusalem temple? They may have been well off financially as Mary previously was able to obtain expensive perfume. Whether she bought it because she could afford it, she saved up for years for it, or inherited it, we don’t know.

Thomas is often given a bad rap. Chiefly because he didn't believe that Jesus rose from the dead until he could actually see him. Also here because of his “mopey” statement. But look at what he said here. Yes, there is a modicum of disbelief here. But he said he was willing to die with Jesus and the rest and went to Jerusalem anyway knowing this. He reiterates it again in the upper room with all of the other apostles. Then later when he sees Jesus, he gives one of the best Biblical testaments to the Deity of Christ you will find. Not bad for a “doubter”.

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